poem index

sign up to receive a new poem-a-day in your inbox

About this Poem 

This poem was originally published in Poems & Poèmes (George H. Doran, 1920).

The Phantom Guest

We lay in shade diaphanous
And spoke the light that burns in us

As in the glooming’s net I caught her,
She shimmered like reflected water!

Romantic and emphatic moods
Are not for her whom life eludes...

Its vulgar tinsel round her fold?
She'd rather shudder with the cold,

Attend just this elusive hour,
A shadow in a shadow bower,

A moving imagery so fine,
It must have been her soul near mine

And so we blended and possessed
Each in each the phantom guest,

Inseparate, we scarcely met;
Yet other love-nights we forget!

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on June 30, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on June 30, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.

Natalie Clifford Burney

Natalie Clifford Barney

Natalie Clifford Barney was born in 1876 in Dayton, Ohio.

by this poet

poem
As I must mount to feed those doves of ours,  
Perhaps you too will spend nocturnal hours   
      Upon your roof   
      So high aloof 
That from its terraced bowers   
We catch at clouds and draw a bath from showers.  
Before the moon has made all pale the night,  
Let's meet with flute and viol, and supper